BY STEFAN FROST
Otto Wallin has questioned the ingenuity of Dillian Whyte’s fighting style in the build up to their heavyweight bout at the O2 Arena later this month.
The Swedish boxer, who holds a record of 22-1, is planning on damaging Whyte’s long-held status as mandatory challenger when they enter the ring together on Saturday October 30.
Whyte’s reputation had been marred after he was knocked out by Alexander Povetkin in August 2020. The Brixton puncher defeated the Russian by technical knockout in their March rematch to regain the WBC Interim world title. That governing body have ordered Tyson Fury to defend his world title against Whyte next.
In an interview with Knuckles and Gloves podcast, Wallin made clear that he does not view his British opponent as an insurmountable obstacle.
“To me Whyte is a basic guy – he’s got a decent jab, a good left hook and is a good body puncher,” he said. “He’s an aggressive guy but, other than that, he’s pretty basic. I can say I’m not basic. I’m a smart fighter with fast hands and fast feet.
“I don’t know if Dillan has fought any southpaws in his career. Maybe he did early on, but nobody really at a high level. I’m different from a lot of the fighters he’s faced.”
Wallin’s profile was majorly raised in September 2019 when the Scandinavian fought Tyson Fury and pushed the lineal heavyweight king, who eventually prevailed on points.
“Before Fury, things weren’t that easy for me,” said Wallin. “I had to borrow money. But things have turned around now.
“It’s been a long road but all the hard work I have put in over the years is coming together now that I’m finally at this high level.”
Wallin suffered his only professional loss against Fury but the fight helped propelled his public persona and since then he has impressed, beating the American duo of Travis Kauffman and Dominic Breazeale.
Wallin is hoping to become the second ever heavyweight champion from Sweden, following in the footsteps of Ingemar Johansson who held the world heavyweight title from 1959 to 1960.
To get a step closer to achieving this, he must first execute his game plan against Whyte.
“I don’t want to let Dillian be comfortable in there, I want to make it hard for him, just like I did against Fury,” he said. “If I beat Dillian, they might exercise the rematch but that doesn’t mean I’m locked into him. If I beat him, I’ll be the interim champion and maybe then I can go after Fury.
“I’m in boxing to become a world champion. I’ve worked myself to this level but I don’t want to stop here.”
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